Neil Bergin, a long-time Syosset resident, is running for the 13th Assembly District on the Republican and Conservative Party lines.
"I am a rookie candidate," admitted Bergin. "This is my first time stepping up to the plate and it has been interesting so far."
Bergin, a life-long resident of the 13th Assembly District, decided to run for office because he felt there has been a lack of representation. "I have seen what has been around and who has represented us and quite frankly we have not had any representation for the past eight years," said Bergin.
Bergin, who grew-up less than one mile away from the 39-acre Cerro Wire site, has done a great deal of work pertaining to the property. "As a code enforcement officer with the town, I know what has gone on at Cerro Wire," said Bergin. "I was asked to do inspections on the site and I saw the trailers coming in and out of property when I lived there. They all had copper bars that were painted orange. They had to dip the bars in acid. What is now in the ground?" He is against building the mega-mall on the property.
Bergin tried to get endorsements with the labor unions. When he met with them, he told them that he was against building a mall on the Cerro Wire property. He believes this is the reason he did not get their endorsement.
"I went to lobby labor to see if I could get them to build a high-tech incubator there," said Bergin, who is a former teamster. "Also, Charles Wang is buying everything up in Oyster Bay. Maybe we can approach him and have him buy it. I approached the labor unions and offered them something else. I have nothing against unions, but we argued back-and-forth over the projects and my concerns with the traffic impacts.... By bringing in a high-tech incubator, you can help nurture the children in the Jericho and Syosset school districts. They did this with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Labor basically said no way."
Bergin is not against laborers. "Everyone has to eat, but the proposed mall on the Cerro Wire property is just too intense on all of the surrounding communities."
This situation hits close to home for Bergin - a driver trying to take a shortcut to the Broadway Mall killed his friend in 1967 on the corner of Miller Place and Lorraine Street.
Bergin has researched the history of his opponent very carefully. According to Bergin, the Aug. 17 edition of Newsday, on page A 67, Douglas Hoffman, a resident of Dix Hills, admitted using dishonored checks to run the escrow account of Sidikman and Hoffman. "Mr. Sidikman was a lawyer two months ago," said Bergin, "and now all of a sudden he is retired? This is not his full-time job and it will be mine."
Sidikman responded to these comments by saying the Newsday article incorrectly defined him as a partner at that time. "I have not been a partner since 1994 and that has nothing to do with how I am as a State Legislator," said Sidikman.
"I just feel that Mr. Sidikman is not in touch with the constituents," said Bergin. "That is a problem. We just do not know who he is."
Bergin feels that growing up in a family with seven siblings taught him to be very honest. "I am brutally honest and maybe it is a fault, but I think it is about time that a politician is brutally honest," he said.
Bergin, who is the chief code enforcement officer for the Town of Oyster Bay, is married to wife Deborah, a media consultant, and they have two children. Although born and raised in Syosset, he now resides in Bayville with his family.